self-pity

Optimism and self-pity are the positive and negative poles of modern cowardice.

Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world - making the most of one's best.

The self-pity that often lies at the heart of jealousy involves a strong resistance against feeling one’s own true inadequacies and failures.

There is no good person who has not a bad side to his nature, nor is there a wicked person who has not a good side to his nature; but the good side of the former covers the bad side of his nature, and the bad side of the latter generally covers the good side of his nature. The right thing is to go forward in the path of goodness, although it is natural that as much goodness as someone possesses so much badness there is in him. Therefore the Sufi complains no more, has no grudge against anyone, has nothing to grumble about: "That person insulted me," or ". . .treated me badly," or ". . .behaved unjustly," or ". . .acted unkindly," -- no complaint whatever, for complaint comes to a person who thinks of himself most of the time. He is inclined to self-pity at every moment, self pity, which is the worst poverty. The one who is sensitive to all things that come from the people around him will have a thousand complaints, whatever be his life's position. In a palace or in a cottage, be he poor or rich, he is always full of complaints. Nothing is right to him, nothing is just, except himself, everybody is cruel to him; and for that poor person life is death. If this person thinks of his health, then he has many complaints to make about different pains and aches and disagreeable things he feels, and if he thinks of his friends and foes then he has many things to say about them.

If we sanction violence in our hearts, we are going to cooperate with whomever is waging war. We are participants because psychologically we sanction violence. If we really want to put an end to warfare, we need to explore deep into the human psyche where the roots of violence have a stronghold. Unless we find the roots of violence, ambition, and jealousy, we will not find our way out of chaos. Failure to eliminate their roots will doom us to endless miserable repetitions of the failures of the past. We must see that the inner and the outer are delicately intertwined in a totality and that we cannot deal with the one successfully without the other. The structures and systems condition the inner consciousness, and the conditionings of the consciousness create the structures and systems. We cannot carve out one part of the relationship, make it bright and beautiful, and ignore the rest. The forces of human societal conditionings are powerfully entrenched; they will not be ignored.

Funny how we think of romance as always involving two, when the romance of solitude can be ever so much more delicious and intense.